• Published 30th Jul 2014
  • 3,122 Views, 30 Comments

What If I Just Said No? - Deep



Months have passed since Twilight became a princess, and yet she still can not bring herself to accept her new role. That's when she starts thinking. What would happen if she quit?

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What If I Just Said No?

Force up a smile, sit straight and wave to the crowd. Is this really my purpose in life?

Though I guess being a princess isn’t that bad, right? You’re never going to hear me complain about the option of being carried around by chariot. And let’s not forget the perks of being an alicorn. When I was a unicorn I could always learn levitation, but let’s be honest, that’s nowhere as cool as zipping through the clouds at high speed. Now I can soar to the sky side by side with Rainbow Dash. Who knows, I might even learn how to use my magic to give my wings a boost. Wonder how Rainbow Dash would react if I beat her in a race? Hehe, can’t wait.

Being taller is cool too… I guess.

The perks are cool and all, but they’re just distractions in the grand scheme of things. No amount of chariot rides or messing with Rainbow Dash can make up for what becoming a princess has taken away from me, or might.

I’m sitting on a throne in the royal palace. Heard Princess Celestia had it made just for me. Princess Cadence is to my left and Princess Luna to my right. Princess Celestia is sitting across from me. She can’t stop smiling, even now, an hour into the meeting. Ever since I became a princess she’s been like this.

The doors are shut, but the roar of the crowd and media outside echoes inward like there's no door or wall at all. I was told this is a royal summit. First time I've even heard of it actually. The purpose of the summit: My future.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the massive trust Princess Celestia must have in a crazy unicorn like me to even give me such a position. And it’s not that I don’t get all the good I could do as princess, for both Equestria and myself. I could use my royal powers to make Equestria a more harmonious place for everypony. I could enact laws to make it easier for every being in Equestria to pursue their dreams. And then use diplomacy to spread harmony to kingdoms far away. I’d live a life others would kill for. Ponies would bow to me everywhere I went. I’d be treated with admiration the biggest movie stars could only dream of. I’d leave a legacy greater than anypony ever has or ever will.

But will the job leave me fulfilled? Will it give me the thrill Rainbow Dash gets from being a Wonderbolt? Or the peace of mind Applejack gets from working on her farm? Or even the glee Pinkie gets every time she makes somepony laugh? Will I go to work confident I’m doing what I was put on this crazy planet to do? And if the answer is no, then what is it that I want to do?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never stop wanting to save Equestria from villains, but beyond that, I don’t want what I want to dedicate my life to. My cutie mark is that of the bearer of magic, but what does that mean beyond being an Element bearer? Does it mean I have no choice but to be a princess? Or can it mean something else? Can I be a teacher? Or what about a researcher? Perhaps I could be a master conjurer like Star Swirl the Bearded? Is it wrong to not know what my destiny is? Every other pony has a fulfilling job based on their cutie mark, so am I just an idiot for not knowing?

I don’t need to be a princess to do good. Just look at how much harmony my friends and I have spread without being royalty. The sticking point is if I want to be a princess.

Guess that leads to the heart of it, doesn’t it? Do I even want to be a princess?

I’ve spent the last few months trying to get an answer, every time I had to wave at a crowd, smile for the press or tell Princess Celestia how excited I am for my next step. But no matter how much I think or dream or have a nightmare about it, I just don't know. Do I want it? Should I? What if I didn't? What if I quit?

I guess that's the question I should really be asking, process of elimination after all.

So then...

What if I just said "No?"

What would my friends say? They’d support me no matter my decision. That I don’t doubt. But, by quitting, would I be setting a bad example for them? We’ve never quit when things got tough. And even if we had, it wouldn’t have been because we just so happened to not feel like continuing. Sorry, everypony, not in the mood to save the day today. You’re on your own!

Could you imagine how many times Equestria would’ve been destroyed if I’d acted like that? Duty before desire, I always believed. Maybe I’m starting to lose sight of that?

What would Equestria say? Like with my friends, I’d be setting a bad example, and that’s never acceptable. Rumors might start spreading too. Scratch that, they’d definitely start spreading. Who knows what the press would say about why I quit. They might say I never had what it took to be a princess, or that something happened. First time a princess ever quit, and only after a few months, that’s bound to lead to some crazy theories.

They might think I don’t want to protect and serve them anymore. No, that’s just ridiculous. They’d never think that. My friends and I have done so much for the kingdom already.

What would Princess Cadence and Luna say? They’d both say they support me whatever my decision, but I know they’ll be disappointed. Who wouldn’t be disappointed in a gigantic waste of potential?

I don't want to think any longer, because of who comes next... the pony smiling at me right now.

What would Princess Celestia say? Ever since I became a princess, her face has been glowing with life, like she’s a completely new pony. As if she’d transformed with me. As if our destinies are shared. She’s spent so many years molding me, ever since I was too young to do a basic levitation spell. She spent all that time reading my friendship reports, ensuring I grew both inwards and outwards, and always pushing me to the next step when I didn’t believe I was ready. She always believed in me. She was the one who brought me to Ponyville in the first place. I owe her every friend I made, every adventure I grew from, every lesson I learned.

How would she react? How would I react if in her hooves? I'd be mad, disappointed. I'd feel like my time had been wasted. That I'd been wasted.

I might kick my student out of the palace. I might take away their status as student.

I might not talk to them for days, months even. I might not talk to them for years.

I might not ever talk to them again.

I'd definitely dealicornize them. Definitely. All my time and effort wasted and you expect to keep your wings?

I would be so disappointed, not just in my student, but in myself, for believing in them in the first place, for putting my hope in them. They would be finished in my mind. A past mistake I’d always wish I’d never done.

And that is why I can never say no. I am the product of so much. I can't just throw it all away. Do I want this? I don't know. Will I ever want this? I don't know. Does it matter if I want this?

Duty before desire, no excuse around it. No ifs, buts or whys.

All I can do now is hope, hope that I will one day accept what I have no choice but to be, hope that one day I can live up to the standards set by those who have done so much for me.

Hope. That's all I can do.

Author's Note:

Decided to edit this story since it's the one that means the most to me so far. I plan on making a sequel to this one day, kind of. It'll be a much longer story that'll deal with the following:
- What if Twilight didn't feel fulfilled from being a princess? Would she force herself through the job? Or would she tell Celestia?
- How would Celestia react? How would Equestria react to Twilight being the first pony to reject their destiny?
- What if something similar to the rest of the Mane Six?
- And much more

Comments ( 30 )

Couple of mild spelling and grammar issues, but a nice story. Would've been nice if Celestia had offered her the choice instead of forcing the ascension on her. :pinkiegasp:

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.


"Duty before desire."

This is an excellent account of the musings of importance with Twilight's princess duties. Your execution and the style of a simulated thought process was carried out very well. Aside from a few minor mistakes (I think I saw a run on sentence in there) you captured exactly what you were supposed to in an exemplary way.

Great job, I really enjoyed this piece.

Well done short, and yes I could see her having done this at some point, but now I think she is beyond that. I place this either just before or after 4/1-2.

I actually mentioned that I wish I had the talent to write a story with a similar premise to this in a thread somewhere, so it's funny to see it here. You did an excellent job, so I'm giving you an upvote and a favorite! :twilightsmile:

Honestly, while I don't think that Twilight would have said no, I have no doubt that she could have. And Celestia would have simply said, OK.
But then we wouldn't be able to write stories like this.

4777222
Even in the context of this story, this is true. But the problem Twilight faces is that she doesn't want to disappoint her idol. Her fear vis-a-vis her mentor are overblown. And, really, Twilight's been central to saving Equestria at least three times. Whatever investment Celestia's made in her has paid off in spades; what could she possibly owe the Sun Princess at this point?

And, really, who defines what being a Princess means anyway? Twilight has more of a say in this than almost anyone else. She isn't necessarily obligated to go to every social event and ribbon-cutting ceremony. She can make it clear that the Princess of Magic doesn't do those sorts of things and, after some disappointment, eventually that'll be the new normal. Or she can just go to the ones that actually have something to do with her.

While the "duty before desire" line is nice, nothing about her duty is shown. We don't see her wrangling with the nobility or being bored at a gala or matching wits with hostile ambassadors or filing paperwork or anything else duty-related. She has to spend time in the same room as her in-laws, which is a horrifying fate to contemplate.

4777026
Me writing this doesn't mean you can't write yours. Go for it!

If I got the talent then you definitely have it.

4777719 I never expected words of encouragement. Thanks! :twilightsmile:

4777723
And I never expected a follow :pinkiegasp:

Guess we both did our good deed for the day :ajsmug:

In all seriousness though, I was actually scared to write this fic cuz I thought I didn't have what it took but then I was like "Screw this!" and just wrote it. You'll always think you're not good enough until you just write it.

4777648 True, but you never stop trying to impress a mentor, particularly one as close as Celestia. And Twilight seems like someone who might keep trying, no matter what she accomplishes.

This kind of "inner thoughts" fanfics is one of my favorites. I find them to be quite enjoyable and interesting, and so does this one. However, and for some reason, I feel you´ve only scrapped the surface of a much more intense work. There is a sentiment of emptiness, as if something were missing. I think you could have developed Twilight´s ideas a little bit better, and trying to show us things we don´t see in the show. I mean, we all know that she is still getting used to her role as a princess and that sometimes she feels like going back, but as I said, we all know that. I think you should have queried more in other aspects of her character, something that has never been explicitly shown but that you can still imagine. I once saw a fanfic about Discord´s stone imprisonment in which he explained that he didn´t fear being stone, but the voices that tried to drag him to madness while he was imprisoned. And the author managed to make him sound as the true Discord. That was a pretty intelligent way to maintain the audience´s attention. Not that there is a problem with your characterization of Twilight, I find it pretty accurate and not a bit disappointing, but I still feel you could have done something ore with this idea. Anyway, this is just my opinion, you´re free to do whatever you want.

4779514

:twilightblush:
Funny enough this fic is based off a future story I have planned that expands on this idea by ALOT. This was more just a little snippet of her thinking about the situation she's going through.

4779697

:twilightblush:
Funny enough this fic is based off a future story I have planned that expands on this idea by ALOT. This was more just a little snippet of her thinking about the situation she's going through.

If you ever make that fic can you PM me to let me know? That sounds like it'd be a nice story to add to my list of favs. Especially if it evolves from this.

4782248
Will you remember this two years from now? :rainbowderp:

I plan on writing that fic a LONG time from now due to how complex and hard it is.

4782543

Honestly probably. But just in case I'm putting this in my MLP notepad on my computer with a reminder to ask in two years. Best of luck to you.

4785134
Alrighty then. Will do!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Gotta say, I'm very interested in what the press would say, had she decided to reject her princesshood.

5377372
That's honestly the direction I wanted MMC to take and not cuz I don't like Twilicorn or anything. It just would've been interesting to see Twi say no to Celestia by realizing that she doesn't have to be a princess or alicorn to serve friendship.

I might kick my student out of the palace; I might take away their status as student.

I might not talk to them for days, months even; I might not talk to them for years.

I might not ever talk to them again.

These words get kind of scary when one recalls this is exactly what happened to Sunset Shimmer (though thankfully the jury's still out on that last one!).

4782248
Hi there! It's been 4 years since I wrote this, but I haven't forgotten my promise to make a sequel to this. I can't guarantee a time frame, though. Pharmacy school and publishing a novel have been taking up a lot of time recently. I can say that the "sequel" will be novel length and will expand on the ideas presented in this short story by a lot. It will also include the other Mane Six members (as in, what would happen if they quit their destinies/ what if their destinies backfired on them?)

Also, I edited this story a bit to add to it. Let me know what you think if you decide to reread it :twilightsmile:

7051743
Yes that is pretty scary.


8968797
It's good, and I look forward to the sequel. It'll be interesting to see what comes next.

7051743
Can't believe I haven't responded to this yet. Agreed completely. Celestia is presented as someone who is caring and forgiving, but that always has a limit.

I'm looking forward to the sequel whenever you have the time to write it. I want to see this idea expanded upon.

9191957
I'm actually working on the sequel/more fleshed out version now. No clue when I'll be done, though. I'm still stuck in the planning phase :twilightblush:

You have some good material here and in your other stories. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

Jeez, this was dark and sad.

10509400

Surprised and happy to see you keep going through my old stories haha. Hope you like them!

10509498
I’ll be sure to check out as many as I can.

The premise was interesting and Twi's monologue was as well, right until it all fell apart spectacularly.

How would she react? How would I react if in her hooves? I'd be mad, disappointed. I'd feel like my time had been wasted. That I'd been wasted.

I might kick my student out of the palace. I might take away their status as student.

I might not talk to them for days, months even. I might not talk to them for years.

I might not ever talk to them again.

I'd definitely dealicornize them. Definitely. All my time and effort wasted and you expect to keep your wings?

I would be so disappointed, not just in my student, but in myself, for believing in them in the first place, for putting my hope in them. They would be finished in my mind. A past mistake I’d always wish I’d never done.

Are you serious? I mean, the "de-alicornification" bit is just dumb for hopefully obvious reasons, but:

All that build-up and then you decided to base her reasoning and emotional turmoil on this completely OOC nonsense.
It's not even a spontaneous emotional outburst, she's been brooding over this for month apparently.
Twilight Sparkle, of all ponies, would demote and denounce a student for choosing their own path in life?
Because what she thought was best for them turned out to not be what made them happy?
Because wanting her friends to be happy and supporting them in achieving their dreams regardless of her own views on things is not what she does pretty much by default? She's never really cared about how much (of her) time and energy got wasted as long as everyone was happy in the end.
Did I actually just read that Twilight would hate her student and consider teaching someone a regrettable waste of time if the outcome doesn't benefit her?

And then, after you've turned her into her negative - a complete scumbag - you try to rocket jump her back to moral high ground with that cheap "Duty before desire." line. What. The. F.

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